The International Tourist Fair Holiday & SPA Expo is one of the major expositions dedicated to tourism held in this country. There will be over 360 participants in this year’s 35th edition, coming from Bulgaria and from 22 other countries. More than 50 Bulgarian municipalities will also be represented at the forum, where they will be able to showcase the holidaymaking and recreational opportunities on their territory.
As part of the exposition, from February 14th to the 16th, the Inter Expo Centre exhibition space will be thrown open to the participants coming from Turkey, Macedonia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Croatia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic. The Cuban ministry of tourism, as well as the embassies of Argentina, Azerbaijan and the Republic of South Africa have also confirmed their participation.
For the first time the tourist fair has an official partner - Serbia. Organizer Vihra Ognyanova says that Serbia has been developing as one of the destinations in the region which have been turning their tourist potential to very good use, as it evolves into an easily recognizable and sought after weekend tourism destination. Interest by Bulgarians in travelling to Serbia is running high and this is due to the fact the two countries have similar cultures, to the good food and to their famed hospitality. That more and more Bulgarians have been travelling to Serbia is clear to see by the full hotels and restaurants near the border.
Visitors to the Holiday & SPA Expo tourist fair will also see products by IT companies, as well as online tourist service platforms. They will also be able to attend the annual award ceremony, at which prizes will be awarded to top inbound and outbound tour operators, as well as awards for best innovative tourist product and for successful investment connected with improving the environment. There will also be an award for coherent policy for the development of a travel destination.
How has the fair changed through the years and what does the fringe programme feature? Vihra Ognyanova:
“The participants have been altering their vision and the content of their stands a great deal. There are wonderful stands, very modern, very different. There are a lot of presentations, discounts. The fair has been growing because the participants are out to make as good a presentation as they can. The fringe programme is also most diverse and includes the latest online marketing tendencies. As part of the Holiday & SPA Expo tourist fair, on 15 February, the Ministry of Tourism is organizing a key discussion on digital transformation in the sector.”
Digital transformation is vital to sustainable economic growth, but for this to happen we need to improve our digital literacy. A year or two ago, this was a matter of time and willingness, now it is a must because if we don’t adapt to the changing world around, we are bound to live forever in the past. Efforts must be made in this direction, and any discussion focusing on digital transformation must offer a deeper insight and lead to real solutions and practical benefits.
English version: Milena Daynova